"I was a teenager in the late 70's and early 80's and consider myself quite the connoisseur of new wave and early 80's pop. The singles "How To Be A Millionaire" and "Be Near Me" are worth the price of purchase for this CD. In my opinion, "How To Be A Millionaire" is a very underrated pop single from the early 80's and I don't understand why you don't hear it with all of the 80's retro going on now. You often hear "Be Near Me" in the 80's retro radio programming now. And then there is "So Hip It Hurts", a very campy but still very funky dance track that still makes me want to dance.ABC had a unique sound with the vocals of Martin Fry and Eden. And I think their work on this particular album has stood the test of time pretty well. Much more so than some 80's albums I've been giving a second listening to here of late."
Classic 80's Pop.
Jason Stein | San Diego, CA United States | 03/01/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As far as ABC goes, How To Be A Zillionaire (HTBAZ)is one of their best albums. The other two to seek out would be 1981's The Lexicon of Love and 1991's Abracadabra. HTBAZ is a collection of 10 spritely sarcastic pop songs. Martin Fry's delivery is less over-the-top on this album and his lyrics are right on the mark. The music is essential 80's with synths and synths and synths. It has the hit "Be Near Me" with Euro-hits "Vanity Kills", "How To Be A Millionaire" and "Ocean Blue." HTBAZ has a frenetic, upbeat and almost zany feel to it, but so few artists can achieve that brand of pop giddiness. This is a must have for any ABC fan and also a great addition to any music collection."
How To Be A Zillionaire
Mr. S. St Thomas | UK | 03/09/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"When I bought this album, I was already a fan of ABC from The Lexicon of Love days. Beauty Stab I absolutely thought was great, and so different from their first album that I had to appreciate ABC for just their inventiveness.Then this album came out, and I remember thinking what the ... is going on here?? Who's Eden? Who's the little dude with the glasses? This isn't ABC is it? Are they serious? But I loved this album, and I still think its yet ANOTHER departure for another style that Fry and White undertook in a very short space of time. If you think about it, Lexicon / Stab / and Zillionaire are all completely different albums. Zillionaire is amazingly kitsch, quite camp actually, but I realise now thats how its supposed to be. Lexicon was all style, nightclubs, wine, dinner suits, sophistication. Beauty Stab was all leather jackets, working class, street level but with intelligence. Zillionaire is Vegas, tacky, its America in a nutshell. It symbolises alot of the 80's. I really think Fry and White always knew what they were doing. This album is worth buying. Don't be disappointed by it. It is more synth dominated than previous albums, but the songs are just as good. My particular favourite has always been '15 Storey Halo'. Something about the end of the song is really powerful. ABC are worth it. Smart, witty, excellently crafted pop."
A Trippy Experiment in Dance/Club Pop
Ryan A. Rigg | 05/17/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"ABC is one of those rare British New Wave bands of the 80's that managed to become more than just a one (or two) hit wonder. One reason for this is that they were able to evolve and change with the times while not alienating their fans by staying true to their style. They emerged on the scene with the New Romantic sound of "The Lexicon of Love". Their next album, "Beauty Stab", failed to connect and it looked like they would be a two-hit wonder band ("The Look of Love" and "Poison Arrow" being the only 2 Top 40 hits from their first album).
Then along came "How to be a Zillionaire". With this album, the group had dropped their stylish suits and precision haircuts for a trippy, club kid look. They also added two new "members" - David Yarritu and Eden - although they were just added as visual oddities. The style and sound of this incarnation of ABC is very similar to what Deee-Lite would do 5 years later. It is funny now, because Deee-Lite were lauded as these dance music visionaries, when really they were doing stuff that ABC had already done 5 years sooner.
"Be Near Me" became the band's first Top 10 single here in the US. The follow-up single, "(How to be A) Millionaire" reached #20 on the charts and featured a very odd cartoon video. The song also heavily featured the use of sound bytes that had been used by dance acts of the time like Paul Hardcastle and The Art of Noise. "Vanity Kills" only peaked at #91, although it should have been a Top 40 hit.
This foray into trippy, club music was short lived, as they returned to blue-eyed soul with their next CD, "Alphabet City" and the tribute to Smokey Robinson, "When Smokey Sings".
If you like ABC, you will love this CD. Recommended.
If you like this kind of music, you will enjoy the entire CD"
ABC...the spelling of a retro-dance gem!
Ryan A. Rigg | 08/13/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Absolutely awesome! Every track is creative, edgy, hooky, and complete with the comforting yet informative vocals of Martin Fry. In 1985, I was 16, and "Be Near Me" was the biggie from them at that time. I remember hearing it and then their follow-up from the album, "How to Be A Millionaire." I had to have it! I wore out my cassette copy listening to every song! Just this year I came across this album on CD with the extra tracks...well, it did not take long for that to become a part of my collection. If you like 80's retro-Brit-pop, this album is for you. The CD production is an awesome one as well. Good sound!"